Press Release YIM-C 2017

Press Release YIM-C 2017


Science and Research Opportunities in India (Sci-ROI;  a volunteer not-for-profit organization composed of research scientists, postdoctoral scholars, students, engineers and entrepreneurs, successfully held their second Young Investigators Meeting in Chicago (YIM-C 2017). Sci-ROI encapsulates the notion of Science-Return on Investment, and YIM-C 2017 brought together nearly 300 young Indian scientists and engineers as well as 30 leading academicians and policymakers to discuss exciting new research opportunities in India. The three day event was held at the University of Chicago, who was a co-sponsor of the event, and was followed by two one-day satellite events at University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Sci-ROI aims to avail US-trained scientists, engineers and aspiring entrepreneurs to professional opportunities and collaborations across academic and private sectors in India. The overarching goal, to foster mutually beneficial U.S.- India partnerships, will fuel the growing knowledge economy of both countries. Sci-ROI is an initiative of Winstep Forward – a U.S. non-profit organization that administers the prestigious Khorana and Bose programs in partnership with the Government of India and the bilateral Indo-US S&T Forum (

Below is a brief outline of the events.


Opening Remarks

Delivered by Dr. Aseem Ansari1` and Dr. L.S. Shashidhara2, both are mentors for the Sci-ROI YIMC organizing committee. Mr. D.B.Bhati3 delivered the inaugural remarks, followed by Dr. Bala Srinivasan4 welcomed the audience to YIMC 2017 and The University of Chicago.


Session 1: “Research and Funding Opportunities in India”

The first session featured Dr. Vijay Raghavan5, Dr. Rajiv Sharma6, Dr. Shahid Jameel7, and Dr. L.S. Shashidhara8. The speakers described the numerous fellowships and funding resources available to individuals seeking professional opportunities in India.

Session 2: “Institutional Perspectives for Becoming a Faculty; Public Universities”

The second session featured panelists Dr. Somak Raychaudhuri9, Dr. Tushar Kanti Chakraborty10, Dr. L. S. Shashidhara11, Dr. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath12, and Dr. Murali Bashyam13. The guest speakers talked funding opportunities, application processes and overall roadmaps towards taking up an academic/ research positions in India.


Session 3: “Institutional Perspectives of Being a Faculty; Private Universities”

Dr. L.S. Shahsidhara, Dr. Pragna Rao, Dr. Raghu Radhakrishnan14, Dr. S. Ramaswamy15 , and Dr. L.S. Shahsidhara16 provided valuable insights on the academic and research environment at their respective universities and the increasing importance of private Universities in India from the funding and research perspective.


Session 4: “New Models of Indo-US Research Partnerships”

Dr. Suresh Subramani17, Dr. Rajiv Sharma, Heidi Arola18 , Dr. Kavi Bhalla19, Dr. Shekar Mishra, Dr. Sanjeeb Mishra20, and Dr. Mishra presented their scientific work, outlined details of fellowship opportunities and scientific partnerships currently existing between US and India. The session concluded with Dr. Ansari presenting information on Bose and Khorana scholar programs as well as engagement of WINStep forward and SCI-ROI.


Session 5: “Traditional and non-traditional research opportunities in India”

The session consisted of Dr. L.S. Shashidhara, Dr. Sharmila Mande21 Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati22 Dr. Tushar Chakraborty, and Dr. S. Ramaswamy summarizing various employment opportunities in areas such as IPR, industry, leadership, etc.


Closing Remarks

The event’s concluding remarks were delivered by Dr. Aseem Ansari. He encouraged the YIMC participants to use Sci-ROI as a forum to interact with senior representatives from science organizations to explore career options and research environment in the US and India.


After the conclusion of the main event at Chicago, the delegates attended the satellite events in UW-Madison on Sept. 11th and UI-UC on Sept. 12th.



Speaker Titles

  1. Aseem Ansari, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Professor Biochemistry and Genomics, Co-founder of WINStep Forward
  2. L.S. Shashidhara, Vice President, Indian National Science Academy
  3. D.B.Bhati, Senior Consul, Consulate General of India in Chicago
  4. Bala Srinivasan, Vice President at University of Chicago, Global Initiatives & Strategy, and Senior Associate Provost of The University of Chicago
  5. Vijay Raghavan, Secretary, Dept. of Biotechnology -DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India
  6. Rajiv Sharma, Secretary, Science & Engineering Research Board –SERB
  7. Shahid Jameel, CEO, Wellcome-DBT Alliance
  8. L.S. Shashidhara, VP, Indian National Science Academy
  9. Somak Raychaudhuri, Director, Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAC), Pune
  10. Tushar Kanti Chakraborty, Professor of Chemistry at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  11. L. S. Shashidhara, Chair of Biology, IISER Pune
  12. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, Professor at Center for Neuroscience, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
  13. Murali Bashyam, Head of Molecular Oncology lab, Center for DNA fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad
  1.  Dr. Pragna Rao and Dr. Raghu Radhakrishnan Dean and Deputy directors respectively, of Kasturba Medical college, Manipal University.
  2. Dr. S. Ramaswamy, Ahmedabad University
  3. Dr. L.S. Shahsidhara, Ashoka University.
  4. Dr. Suresh Subramani, Professor and Executive Vice Chancellor, University of California San Diego & Tata Institute of Genomic Sciences (TIGS)
  5. Heidi Arola, Managing Director, Global Partnerships, Purdue University, Indiana
  6. Dr. Kavi Bhalla, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences of the Biological Sciences Division at the University of Chicago
  7. Dr. Shekar Mishra and Dr. Sanjeeb Mishra, Senior Scientists at the world-renowned Fermi Labs
  8. Dr. Sharmila Mande, Principal Scientist and Head Bioscience R&D, Tata Consultancy Services TCS innovation lab
  9. Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati, Executive Director, Regional Centre for biotechnology- Faridabad/Delhi -NCR,


SCI-ROI YIMC-2017 organizing committee:


Sumitha Nallu, PhD,

Research Associate, The University of Chicago


Piyush Behari Lal, PhD,

Research Associate, GLBRC, UW-Madison


Shachi Mittal, Graduate Student,

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Krishna Anapindi, Graduate Student,

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


Ratika Kunder, PhD,

Postdoc, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University


Kiran Kumar Kovi, PhD,

Research Scientist, Euclid TechLabs


Somasish Dastidar, PhD,

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, San Diego


Gouri Kulkarni,

Technical Associate, Sci-ROI


Jaspal Singh, PhD,

Research Scientist, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center


Mayur Kumar Kajla, PhD,

Assistant Scientist, Dept. of Entomology, UW-Madison


Ashish Ranjan, PhD,

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison





SCI-ROI, Madison Satellite Event Organizing Committee:


Dr. Mayur Kumar Kajla, PhD,

Assistant Scientist, Dept. of Entomology, UW-Madison


Dr. Ashish Ranjan, PhD,

Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Plant Pathology, UW-Madison


Sonisilpa Mohapatra,

Graduate Student, College of Letters & Science, UW-Madison


Dr. Piyush Behari Lal, PhD,

Research Associate, GLBRC, UW-Madison


SCI-ROI, UIUC Satellite Event Organizing Committee:


Shachi Mittal, Graduate Student,

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Krishna Anapindi, Graduate Student,

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


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